ravinia gala

In 2015 we were commissioned to decorate the annual gala for the Ravinia Festival just outside of Chicago. Ravinia is the country’s oldest music festival, focusing on both classical and popular music. Surrounding the pavilion where artists perform are 36 acres of lawn where guests layout lavish picnics, sheltered by deciduous trees. Inspired by a 1917 promotional poster, we sought to replicate the iconic experience of picnicking on the Ravinia lawn listening to great live music as night falls. A white tent to seat 1,000 people is a challenging space to fill so first we brought in masses of 17-foot trees and styled them asymmetrically to create the feeling of canopied by old-growth trees. We then hung hundreds of oversized Chinese red lanterns, which were set off by a hyper-saturated cobalt blue lighting treatment which included tiny stars. Guests gathered to dine around compotes overflowing with summer fruit, emerald green clump-moss, and flowering vines from our urban farm. These low displays alternated with soaring arrangements of viburnum and young apple branches adding to the verdant look of the room.